Robert Langdon Foreman, Jr

1926 - 2017

A Forward By Patti Annelle Patten
It is with great sadness that I must post that my brother's best friend has passed away. I truly thought the world of Bob Foreman and when I think of a true Southern gentleman, I think of Bob. I know that if there truly is a heaven, Bob and Joe Patten are fighting over who pays the check but I guess if there is a heaven, there is probably no need for paying the check. Truly, these two men were responsible for saving that lovely lady that the people in Atlanta Georgia have the pleasure of knowing. Had it not been for Bob and Joe and a few others, there would not be the treasure called the Fox Theatre today. People come and go and the young forget about the old..such is the way of life. I always pictured my brother having his memorial at the Fox theatre but in fact, the people that run the Fox Theatre. the theatre that my brother saved twice did not give him that send off that I had so hoped that they would have given him.

Anyway, if you ever go to Atlanta and you go to the Fox Theatre, remember Bob Foreman and Joe Patten..stop and look around and just marvel at the forethought that those two gentlemen had. What a shame it would have been had Joe and Bob been like the ones that run the theatre today. Bob and Joe your legacy will live on as long as the lady Fox stands.

Remembering Robert Foreman by this site's Web Master, Hal Doby
I feel extremely fortunate to have known Bob Foreman Jr., even though it was a rather fleeting aquaintance. I only got to spend time with Bob in very short periods, most of the time, it was when he was with Joe Patten. The two were extremely loyal friends to one another and in Joe's latter years, Bob was extremely protective of Joe, making sure people did not take advantage of  his friend.

When ever I saw Bob, his presence was something you could not ignore. He always had a big smile on his face as he would greet you quite warmly. To me, he was the epitome of true Southern Gentleman.  The last time I saw Bob was at Joe Patten's memorial Service that was quickly arranged at the Crawford-Long Hospital's Chapel. Even though he was wheelchair bound, that familiar warmth was still there and I was quite happy to see his big smile as he greeted me. He was someone I will never forget.

Web Master's note: Most of this information comes from two obituaries by Robert Foreman III and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Obituary.

Robert Langdon Foreman, Jr. known to one and all as “Bob,” passed away on January 22, 2017. He had turned 90 last June. Born in Atlanta’s Piedmont Hospital in June of 1926, Bob was the first son of Robert L. Foreman I (Trot) and Mary Rawson Shedden. He was descended from the Sheddens of New York City, the Foremans of Washington, Georgia, and the Howells and the Rawsons, both pioneer Atlanta families. While his great-grandfather Evan P. Howell fought in the Battle of Peachtree Creek, another great-grandfather town Councilman E.E. Rawson petitioned Sherman not to occupy Atlanta. After the war, E. P. Howell purchased the Atlanta Constitution and elevated the paper to a national institution.

As a teen, Bob joined with other boys to form “The Junior Georgians,” a Society Dance Band where he played the clarinet and served as vocalist. That group of boys comprised what few have, lifelong friends dating back to their days at E. Rivers.

Bob Foreman attended Spring Street Elementary and the Taft School of Connecticut. He personified the motto of The Taft School “To Serve, and not to Be Served.”

He graduated Chapel Hill in North Carolina where he graudated Phi Beta Kappa in 1946, he obtained his LL.B degree from Harvard Law School at 22 in 1949. As a Navy reservist, he attained the rank of Lt. Commander.

A founding member of the law firm Bird & Howell, later to become Alston & Bird, Bob served the better part of his forty years there as Commercial Real Estate head. He was considered “the lawyer’s lawyer,” and he sheparded the careers of many young attorneys. First and last, he was a Southern Gentleman, with enormous charm and a great sense of humor.

Bob’s higher works were outside of the office, all given pro bono: He was past President of the Atlanta Bar Association, Member of the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia, a Trustee and past Vice President of Atlanta Landmarks and past president of the Student Aid Foundation. He was past President of the Community Chest, now the United Way and past Trustee of the Highlands (North Carolina) Biological Foundation Inc (which his family had created), Chairman of the Economic Opportunity Atlanta. Also, a member of the Peidmont Driving Club, the Atlanta paupers club, the 9 O'clockers, the American Theatre Organ Society, board member of the David, Helen and Marian Woodward Fund and the Marta Board of Ethics.  He served in a number of lay positions at the Cathedral of St. Philip, including  Senior Warden and Chapter Member.

But his highest achievement, working with his great friend Joe Patten, was the saving of the Fox Theatre from the wrecking ball in 1975. With Joe Patten, he and a small band of individuals founded "Friends of the Fox" in 1973 in a pre-emptive move to save the Fox from destruction. In 1975, after meeting with Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, he and the others formed Atlanta Landmarks, a non-profit group dedicated to saving the Fox and potentially other important landmarks in Atlanta. He served on the Board of Directors from it's founding into the 2010s before he retired from the Board. 

In 2010, he was one of three on the Fox Board to vote against the eviction of Patten from his Fox apartment, and thus at age 84, Bob had to fight against his own law firm, which represented the Fox. He suggested that Patten hire attorney Emmett Bondurant, whom Joe Patten retained and through his great skill, he was able to negotiate a settlement of the case that allowed Joe to live in his apartment until he died in April of 2016. 

Bob was predeceased by his Brother Rawson Foreman,first wife Betty, his son James.

He is survived by his son Robert L. Foreman III and his daughter Alexa Foreman stepsons Patrick, as well as his step-children Barry and Daniel Graham and his Grandsons, Walker, Declan and Sully Graham and his granddaughters Isabella and Josephine Graham.

Bob's body was cremated and services were held at the Cathedral of St. Philip on Tuesday, January 31st.

Robert Foreman III on his father, Robert L. Foreman Jr.
 (this link will direct you to a different web site, opening in a new window)

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